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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | The latest COVID-19 privacy developments from the Asia-Pacific region Related reading: A guide to operationalizing privacy by design

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are the latest stories on how the outbreak has affected privacy in the Asia-Pacific region:

  • In an op-ed for The Spinoff, New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards discussed the difficult privacy-related decisions citizens will need to make as the pandemic continues.
  • According to Yahoo News, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison supports using location data from cellphones to help track COVID-19.
  • In an op-ed for The Indian Express, IDFC Institute Senior Fellow Venkatesh Hariharan writes on why India needs to act on balancing public health and preserving privacy rights during the pandemic.
  • India's COVID-19 tracking app has amassed 50 million users despite privacy concerns, Bloomberg reports.
  • The Philippines Commission on Human Rights called on the country's government to only use COVID-19 patients' data for public safety purposes, GMA News Online reports.
  • The Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases adopted a measure requiring the public disclosure of COVID-19 patients, Philstar.com reports.
  • NPR reports on an app the Indian state of Karnataka is using to track residents under quarantine.
  • Apple and Google unveiled tools that would allow smartphone users to know if they have crossed paths with anyone who has COVID-19, The Washington Post reports.
  • In an op-ed for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Rochester Institute of Technology Professor Evan Selinger and Future of Privacy Forum Senior Counsel and Director of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics Brenda Leong, CPII/US, discuss potential lasting effects of COVID-19 on privacy. 
  • The calls to track COVID-19 have increased the necessity for privacy by design, Law.com reports.
  • In an op-ed, MediaPost Editor Sean Hargrave discussed the privacy considerations for using Bluetooth to track COVID-19.
  • VentureBeat reports on how privacy-focused COVID-19 apps can be successful.
  • Smart cities have been able to help track COVID-19; however, they still evoke privacy concerns, Forbes reports.
  • The Washington Post reports on the surveillance concerns both during the pandemic and the impact it may have years down the line.
  • Wired reports on the impact big data may have on the response to the pandemic.
  • CNET reports Google Meet added 2 million users a day since the pandemic began.

Editor's note: The IAPP Resource Center has compiled global privacy updates on its COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page.

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